Your staff are your most important stakeholders: the growing importance of your employer brand

Attracting and retaining great staff is essential and, in a time, where we have seen terms like the “great resignation” and “quiet quitting” being bandied around, it has never been more important to engage your workforce. This is true for big business and small business alike.

However, it is more than that. Your employees have the potential to be your brand’s strongest advocates. But how do you achieve that?

It starts with culture – and culture must be evident at ‘the top’.

Every single conversation a leader in an organisation has with an employee affects their engagement.  And engaged employees are happier and perform their roles better. This in turn has an impact on your customers.

Leaders are essential in creating a strong culture and it is important that each leader is a champion of your organisation’s vision and values.

It is important as a small business owner that you embed your organisation’s values into your every-day language.

Provide purpose

Meaning and purpose are a core part of your culture – which is why having a strong mission statement and values is essential.

Tell a story with your mission and values so every single employee knows how they can make a difference to the organisation and your customers.

Give examples of your values in action and recognise your employees who live the values. There are a lot of ways you can do this – from having a dedicated shout out each week in your team meeting or even putting in place an employee award program.


Are you tracking your employee experience from pre-recruitment and throughout their journey with you? A strong ‘voice of employee’ program that surveys employees at regular intervals to track their experience means you will stay on top of issues, find areas to improve and enhance what is working. As a small business owner, this could be as simple as an ongoing survey or one–on–one dedicated meetings with each of your staff.

When employees feel like they are being listened to and can see their leaders actioning change based on what they are saying they will feel valued, creating a positive culture.

Communicate in a meaningful way, that reaches your staff where they are at

Do an audit of your internal communications channels. What is working? What do your employees value? Is the tool right in reaching them? Are they getting the right information? Do they have a chance to provide feedback?

It is really important to stop and measure what is working for you. If you have a diverse workforce based across different locations or in really different working environments, a multi-channel strategy will be important. Your strategy may include a mix of print, in-person and digital communications.

Empower and celebrate the champions

You will always have staff who embody your mission and values. Identify these people and involve them! Consider having an employee values champions committee that can help inform your internal communications activities and employee engagement strategy.

Finally, showcase your employer brand

Your staff have the potential to be your best brand ambassadors, so celebrate their achievements in your external facing communications channels, too.

Not only will this make your existing staff proud, but also shows prospective employees just how much you value your people.

A positive employee culture is the centrepiece of your employer brand. It is no longer enough to have great perks like free coffee (although that is always welcomed!) – so make sure you invest the time in making it great.